Fascinating! The Fashion Of ‘I, Tonya’ Goes Deeper Than Nostalgia

Fascinating! The Fashion Of ‘I, Tonya’ Goes Deeper Than Nostalgia

I, Tonya is the form of film to observe with out expectancies. That’s a tall order, even though, considering how cemented Tonya Harding is within the public recognition and how much human beings know—or suppose they know—about the parent skater who accomplished athletic greatness simplest to be following the notorious Nancy Kerrigan incident.

That become some thing costume fashion designer —whose preceding film credit include 20th Century ladies, Charlie Countryman, and hard candy—changed into keenly aware of before she signed onto the assignment.

“I had to have a look at the script,” Johnson tells Glamour. “once I hear ‘Tonya Harding,’ the immediately question is: Are we going to do some thing funny or ironic? Are we going to make fun of or fetishize her like many humans do?”

happily, that ended up not being the case. “The script is the sort of web page-turner,” she says. “I informed [director] Craig Gillespie, ‘k, I’m in.’”

That selection turned into further solidified while word got out that Margot Robbie might be taking up the function of Harding. “i was so excited to parent out a way to make one of the most gorgeous ladies in the world into one of the most well-known and brilliant athletes,” she explains.

to meet the demanding situations of remodeling Robbie into Harding—whilst retaining authenticity for the duration of the film’s costume design—Johnson dove into Harding’s history, chronicling now not best her lifestyles’s paintings as a discern skater however also reading how her style advanced over the direction of almost a long time. however the statistics-collecting method got here with its own set of challenges.

“I feel like she doesn’t have the loving documents that, say, maybe Nancy has,” Johnson says. “There are holes here and there. earlier than things like Getty pix and the internet, documentation simply came from newspapers and, in Tonya’s case, tabloid clippings.”

Johnson and her group additionally scoured YouTube for vintage video photos, which changed into frequently mislabeled or incorrectly mentioned. “We virtually tried to recreate the skating costumes for the huge occasions: the Nationals, the Olympics,” she explains. “We knew those have been critical to get proper [because] so many skaters or folks that knew the ones events might see the movie.”

One such pivotal occasion become the , where Harding became the primary American woman to land the triple axel. “For that turquoise gown where she lands the triple for the first time, we used a unmarried-stretch Lycra, that is really an unforgiving cloth,” Johnson says. “It’s type of thick and the palms form of bunch up, and it’s a bit bit humorous inside the in shape. That’s intentional because that costume she might have made herself.”

primarily based on her studies, Johnson determined that Harding’s fashion would be exceptional portrayed in “chapters” that align with the sweeping arc of the film, which covers her first foray into parent skating as a 3-yr-old all the way via , when she became 23.

“within the first a part of the movie, while she’s 3 years old thru about nine or 10, her mom LaVona is dressing her,” Johnson says. “They’re very poor, however her mother did a beautiful task of making those costumes and placing bows in her hair. And that’s truly juxtaposed with this horrible violence that Tonya suffered on the hands of her mom.”

Johnson had to recollect the ones darkish recurring issues of poverty and abuse in Harding’s story whilst she was making layout picks.

“because the abuse escalates with [her husband] Jeff Gillooly [played by Sebastian Stan], her and Jeff begin to assume similarly,” she says. “There’s something about her that will become type of invisible. I sincerely desired to reveal that arc thru shade and pattern, loss of pattern, and form. once in a while, her and Jeff could share matters, like sporting the equal turtlenecks, and that became intentional as nicely.”

something that’s apparent all through the movie is how a couple of characters put on fur and how it’s used as both a standing symbol and a plot tool. no longer wanting to create any new pieces for the film—”no animals died,” Johnson reiterates—her and her team searched for the coats anywhere they could. “My assistant clothier, Petra, changed into on vintage fur coat responsibility,” Johnson says. “We wanted it to appearance actual, so we sourced all this fur from eBay [and vintage fur dealers]."

within the film, a young Harding fashions her own fur coat out of rabbits that she hunted together with her father, a MacGyver-like technique to the problem of no longer being able to find the money for to shop for one like her skating friends. Harding’s instruct, Diane Rawlinson, is regularly seen sauntering across the rink in a expensive fur coat. And notwithstanding dwelling in poverty, even Harding’s mom wears fur, a design desire based on interview footage with the real-lifestyles LaVona Golden, who Johnson suggests possibly were given dressed up for the event.

“again then, fur become a signifier which you had made it,” Johnson explains. “And figure skating is type of a privilege, mainly whilst Tonya became so at odds with the sport as it became type of a high society global. in the studies, you find these photos of, like, 10 judges in ground-length fur coats status at the ice. it's far virtually freezing at the rink, so I assume it’s a mix of practicality however also this kind of pomp and situation.”

at the same time as under Lawlinson’s wing, Harding was groomed by way of her state-of-the-art educate, who could’ve bought her clothing from iconic, prim and proper brands from the Eighties like Laura Ashley, Ralph Lauren, and Jessica McClintock. “This turned into while she turned into a teen, her skating turns into very serious, and she starts doing truly properly in competitions,” Johnson says. “So Diane takes her shopping to create this ‘society appearance’ that’s at complete odds with Tonya’s rock and roll, punk spirit.”

away from the rink and as time is going with the aid of, capturing Harding’s integral 1990s aesthetic, specifically, provided a completely unique obstacle: From runways to local department stores, the last decade’s have an impact on is obvious pretty a good deal everywhere these days. Johnson cites as proof that even a number of the most questionable ‘90s tendencies aren’t immune from coming round again.

“The ‘90s have truly been having a moment in the last few years,” Johnson says. “you may stroll into an city outfitters, mimic a ‘90s outfit pretty without problems, and be the modern day elegant millennial. I didn’t need to hit any of these beats—I wanted all the costumes to feel certainly sincere and prefer they belonged at the pores and skin of Tonya Harding.”

For her street clothing, Johnson aimed to imitate what Harding had worn in actual existence even as concurrently averting some thing that "felt like a dressing up": "If there were ever a second wherein I notion there had been too many horrific ‘90s sweaters or shoulder pads long past awry, I attempted to scale that again. I tweaked the proportions right here and there in order that they felt a touch softer than what might have been real at that point."

the key, in line with Johnson, become to keep away from veering into a sartorial space that was too modern-day or cheeky. In different words, don’t count on to look crop tops, chokers, or some thing else that Kendall Jenner wears that is probably construed as a present-day ode to the ‘90s. “The current model of the ‘90s is what we’re honestly surrounded through proper now,” she says. “in order that become an obsession of mine, to be genuine and herbal inside the method and to by no means be funny or outlandish. We attempted the ones matters, however they felt fake—it felt like we have been making amusing of this era, and i didn’t want to do that.”

because a lot of the price range turned into earmarked for Harding’s skating costumes—they needed to make triples of each for all of the stunt performers—Johnson and her team sourced a whole lot of the non-skating appears from rental houses in l. a. and thrift stores in Atlanta, in which the film was shot.

“there is a massive wealth of ‘90s thrifting in Georgia that’s quite first-rate,” Johnson explains. “a whole lot of the shopping turned into happening continuously—even for the duration of shoots because she had approximately 107 costume adjustments.”

And because the skating costumes have been so wild and bold, Johnson says that firming down Harding’s off-the-rink apparel was essential. after all, sequins and bows may match properly at the ice, however they don’t necessarily translate into ordinary put on, mainly for Harding’s every day existence, which become regularly fraught with drama and turmoil. “The skating costumes can be form of distracting, but in an excellent manner,” she notes. “If her avenue garments had the identical boldness, color, or strains, it could be complex and interfere with the skating costumes. So I attempted to present a bit plainness to her streetwear.”

unique shade palettes have been key in shaping the layout common. “The ‘70s are the extreme primary colors like crimson and brilliant blue, the ‘80s are the gentle pastels, and the ‘90s are jewel tones. And it’s a great deal more somber within the ‘90s due to the fact that turned into critical to reflect the abuse she became going via—we introduce black, maroon, white, and denim.”

Out of the multiple hundred outfits that she created, Johnson highlights Harding's leather jacket as considered one of her favorites, because it culminated in what she considers Harding on the pinnacle of her sport.

“She had this huge leather jacket with the shearling collar,” she says. “I sense like that truly embodies Tonya’s fulfillment: the turtleneck and the denims with the jacket. She seems so determined and self-possessed. That’s the Tonya that i like."

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